November was a bit of a sad month for reading. As a graduate student and teaching assistant at a university, this is one of the busiest times of the year for me. While I started off the month by continuing my usual daily reading habit, this fizzled out towards the end of the month as grading obligations and deadlines piled up.
While I cannot, therefore, report on any books I finished reading last month, I thought I would instead post about some books that I started reading but never finished.
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I was intrigued to start reading this book for two reasons. One, it’s a book about Mycroft rather than Sherlock, which is interesting in itself because you don’t see many stories revolving around the older Holmes brother. And two, it was (co-)written by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which again is unusual because you don’t usually see athletes author books that aren’t autobiographical.
I think I’m especially excited whenever a celebrity writes something in a popular fiction genre because it means that they must also be fans of that genre. I’m not an athletic person, but I can at least say that I have something in common with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: we’re both mystery fans.
The books itself is well-written, but I’d say it’s more in the thriller genre rather than a murder mystery. This is based on my getting through about a third of the book when the e-book copy I borrowed from the library expired and prevented me from reading further.
If you’re a fan of historical fiction, I’d say this is for you. As a taste of the premise: there is a mystery surrounding the death and disappearance of children in Trinidad, and it all seems to be tied up in politics and race relations of the time.
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins has the reputation of being the first English mystery novel. As a mystery buff, I felt it was my duty to read the classics in the genre, so I borrowed the audio-book version of it from the library with the intention of listening to it on my daily walks.
The thing about this book is that, as TS Eliot remarked, it is “the first, the longest and the best of modern English detective novels”. Thus, being “the longest”, meant that I couldn’t get through the whole thing before my access to the library copy expired.
I recently made my second attempt at reading Louise Penny’s Still Life. Given that this second attempt was also in the middle of my end-of-term busy period, it’s not surprising that I couldn’t get into it the second time around.
I wanted to read this book because it is the first in a very popular series and garnered Louise Penny many awards. I also wanted to read it because it is by a Canadian author and about a Canadian setting. As a Canadian myself, I wanted to be supportive of home-grown literature, especially since it’s very rare to find Canadian popular fiction authors be so well publicized.
. . .
Although I never finished any of these books, that’s not to say that they were bad. It may just be that I was not in the right mindset at the time to simply devour it in the three week lending limit that the library sets. I do intend to return to these books again.
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